Actress Maureen Beattie pleased honour recognises role at performers’ union

Actress Maureen Beattie has said she is “absolutely delighted” to be recognised in the New Year Honours list.

The star, who last year became only the second ever female president of performers’ union Equity, is made an OBE for services to the entertainment industry.

Beattie was born in Co Donegal, Ireland, but grew up in Scotland and trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

She has appeared in TV shows ranging from Casualty and Taggart to Vera, Doctor Who and Outlander, while her work on stage has included roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Scotland.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded an OBE for services to the entertainment industry.

“It has been a great privilege to serve on Equity’s council since 2014, and follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Lehmann when I became the second ever female president of the union in 2018.

“I am particularly pleased that the citation reads ‘actress and president, Equity’, because any difference I have made to the working lives of our members is inextricably bound up in the 45 years I have spent as a worker in our industry.

“I was honoured to be able to lead – alongside our general secretary Christine Payne – the union’s recent work on combating sexual harassment, and that will remain a priority.

“There are many particular battles to be fought on behalf of our membership in all its diverse glory, and there are issues which impact strongly on every single one of us, including the need to retain freedom of movement, despite Brexit, because of how vital it is to our industry – for workers and employers.

“I am also concerned for the future of the BBC as enemies of every political hue circle it.

“At its best, the BBC allows us to understand each other through world-class news, documentary and drama. We must stand ready to defend it.​”